Katie Archibald insists British cycling team on track for Olympics

Katie Archibald believes the British cycling team still has strength in depth and will be hunting gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: SNS
Katie Archibald believes the British cycling team still has strength in depth and will be hunting gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: SNS
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Katie Archibald insists British cycling remains in rude health ahead of the Tokyo Olympics despite a below-par performance at the recent World Championships.

A gold medallist at Rio 2016, Archibald was part of the team pursuit quartet that took silver behind Australia in Poland at the end of last month. The narrow defeat to a potential rival in Japan left a sour taste in the mouth of the 25-year-old Scot, who admitted her disappointment at not topping the podium, also missing out in the multi-event omnium.

But with Tokyo just over a year away, Archibald believes that strength in numbers across the board means that Britain’s cyclists are perfectly primed to challenge on all fronts come next summer.

“The strength in depth of British cycling is something you find us bragging about all the time,” she said. “A lot of the high-level riders are British.

“The World Championships maybe wasn’t the perfect reflection of that, it’s shown we’ve still got team pursuit pedigree, but we’ve come away empty-handed in the omnium and Madison and beyond that we’re really disappointed with the way that we raced.

“I don’t think too much went wrong. We had the misfortune that we had one rider off her game and with that we didn’t follow through with our expectations coming in.

“I don’t feel heavily disappointed and I think we’ve got every capability of challenging for the win, whether that’s next year or at the Olympics.”

A key part of the build-up to Tokyo will take place on the Six Day Cycling series circuit, with Archibald and a host of other stellar names including Jason and Laura Kenny set to ride in Manchester this weekend.

The chance to compete in front of a raucous home crowd is something Archibald is relishing, particularly as Manchester’s National Cycling Centre holds a special place in her heart. She added: “I vividly remember the first time I went to Manchester. You walk down the stairs into track centre and there’s a sign that says, ‘This moment is yours’. It sounds cheesy, but I really took it to heart.

“It’s infectious energy. When the crowd is having a good time, you’re having a good time. It really does make you realise why you do it.”

l Tickets for Phynova Six Day Manchester are on sale now from just £25. Visit https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/sixdaymanchester for more information.